How to Handle Criticism on Your Writing

Last week I opened up submissions for beta readers for my debut novel The Elysian Prophecy (if you’re interested and haven’t signed up, do that here). Although I’ve utilized beta readers before, it’s scary putting your work out there for someone to analyze.

If you’re entering the beta reading process, or you’ve received some solicited or unsolicited critiques, it’s difficult to watch someone pick your manuscript apart.

That’s weird, right?

You ask someone for advice and then get angry or upset when they give it to you.

That’s because we’re writers, we’re just weird that way.

No matter how bad a critique hurts, listen to it. You can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s a problem, and critiques help you recognize those problems.

So I have eight tips to help you survive those critiques.

Remember why you asked for advice.

Did any of you ever watch that episode of American Idol when the Asian woman sings “Ken Lee,” more popularly known as “Without You?”

It was awful. It was funny, but it wasn’t good singing. But she didn’t know that did he? She walked in front of those judges with the full thought she was amazing.

If only she had a friend or two that would have told her she was tone deaf. And of course that she was getting the lyrics wrong.

You’re writing a novel so that the world can read your stories, right? You also want to make sure your novel doesn’t tank - because reviews are everything. Get a bad rating and that can seriously damage your novel’s potential right out of the gate.